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The Deadlift Grip - Grip Series

October 26, 2020

Proper Deadlift Grip - Grip Series

As basic as it may seem, there are a lot of ways that a deadlift can go wrong. How do you ensure you are creating the perfect foundation for your deadlift? It all starts with the proper deadlift grip.

There are many deadlift variations as well grip variations for the typical deadlifting movement. We’ll focus on the classic overhand grip or double overhand grip, where both of your palms are facing towards you. 

The Deadlift Grip: A Breakdown

Start by placing the bar at the base of your fingers, in the spot where your fingers meet your palm (where the calluses form).

Be sure to avoid placing the bar in the middle of your palm. When you do this, the weight of the bar pulls the skin down and squeezes it. This can irritate the area, and potentially lead to ripping any existing calluses. The safest grip starts with the bar closer to the fingers.

With the hand pressed firmly into the bar, push the hand forward to pull the skin back towards the palm. This will help further prevent any excess skin from squeezing under the bar. Curl your entire hand around the bar, and wrap your thumb underneath.

Finish by pulling the bar up with proper form to the full range of motion and repeat. If you drop the bar, reset with correct grip.


Why is a Proper Deadlift Grip Important?

There are two main reasons you will want to use the correct hand positioning to grip the bar for deadlifts: effectiveness and the safety of your skin and hands. 

 The grip described above is effective, particularly since you aren’t squeezing any extra skin between your hand and the bar. It will also help you build up your forearm and grip strength, which means you’ll lift more weight and improve both your deadlift grip strength and body strength over time.

For some people, grip strength can be a limiting factor of your lifting. A bad grip can either hurt your hands or fatigue your grip strength in longer workouts, especially a high volume WOD. These muscle imbalances can eventually be corrected by utilizing proper grip form in all of your lifts. You can also focus on specific workouts that strengthens your grip like bar hangs.

A bad deadlift grip is also much more likely to lead to unnecessary hand tears, something we should avoid at all costs. Again, aligning the bar against the base of your fingers reduces the irritation of your skin, meaning you are less likely to rip any overly built up calluses. The proper deadlift grip and a good hand care routine will help your hands and your grip strength and keep you moving in the gym.


Lifting Hand Care

Yes, a proper deadlift grip will reduce the risk of hand tears, but that’s not all you should do to keep your hands in the best shape possible. There are a few practices you’ll want to put in place to take care of your hands.

1. Keep your calluses in line with your hand. Calluses that are too thick are prone to tears, so it is important to do some regular maintenance and keep your calluses at the same height as the rest of your hand.

Try the w.o.d.welder Natural Pumice Stone, which gently but effectively exfoliates the excess skin. You can also use the w.o.d.welder Callus Shaver, which safely shaves away the outer layers of the calluses.

2. Add moisture back to your skin with a moisturizer. From the chalk to the excessive friction, lifting, Crossfit and daily life can take a toll on our hands.

Thankfully, a good moisturizer will counteract any hydration lost during your workout. Use an effective hand cream daily, like the w.o.d.welder Hands as RX Cream. It absorbs quickly into your skin, so you won’t have to deal with annoying, greasy hands.

3. If you don’t have calluses built up yet, then grips will be your best friend. Grips help keep soft skin protected when you grab the bar, ensuring the friction doesn’t irritate your hands.


With the proper deadlift grip and the right tools and athlete hand care routine, you’ll keep your hands happy and healthy. Be sure to check out our full range of athlete skin care products for natural and innovative options that will help you maintain healthy and functional skin.

Also look out for our additional grip guides in our Grip Series!